Magical memories are being recalled of Blue Ribbon days gone by before their big celebration show.
The Blue Ribbon Performing Arts school has enjoyed twenty fun-filled years at the forefront of the childrens’ activity scene.
From 1998 to 2018, children from Letterkenny and beyond have enjoyed taking part in music, drama and dance classes and shows with an encouraging and enthusiastic team.
This Thursday, 31 May and again on Fri June 1st, Blue Ribbon Arts takes to the stage in An Grianan Theatre, LK, with a 20th anniversary original panto based on The Wizard of Oz.
There’s No Place like Home, featuring debuts from children from Mountcharles to Kilross, Fanad to Carrigart, is set to be a hilarious comedy guaranteed to amuse the whole family.
Both nights will be in support of local charities and tickets are in hot demand. Get yours now at angrianan.ticketsolve.com
This week is a time of big celebration for Blue Ribbon Director Brighdín Carr. The Lurgybrack NS teacher has taken a trip down memory lane as she looks forward to following the yellow brick road to the stagedoor next week.
When Blue Ribbon Arts first grabbed the attention of the Donegal public back in ’98, little did founder and Director, Brighdín Carr expect the avalanche of support and interest of the last two decades to gather momentum the way that it has done.
The range of extracurricular activities available to children back then were limited, and although coaches and teachers were doing all they could to facilitate extra curricular interests, Blue Ribbon Arts was the forerunner in promoting the idea that inclusivity of all children was paramount to the growth and development of Donegal’s children with an interest in drama, music, dance and cooperative teamwork.
Since its birth in 1998, Blue Ribbon Arts has flourished, not only as a club in itself, but as an example to the many new clubs, from dance, drama and music, founded in the county in its wake, of how important the development of every child as a rounded individual is not a result of talent alone, but of teaching the values of friendship, teamwork, goal-achievement and inclusion – an idea that has sustained and nourished its members through the years.
In a world where emphasis and pressure is on children to be ‘better’ than anyone else, this ethos is never part of the Blue Ribbon philosophy, as children are encouraged to be the best that they can be, in competition with their own selves, not other members. This approach, although alternative, suited the families who strive to achieve happiness above all else for their children, hence the reason Blue Ribbon is enjoying twenty years of small, but valuable, success.
Several local charities have been part of Blue Ribbon’s many projects over the years, from People in Need to SVP, DPR and Pieta House.
Therefore, Thursday night’s performance is for Children’s Ward Letterkenny ( in memory of Natasha Melaugh, formerly Lurgybrack NS, who passed away in 1999, and to whom one of our seats are donated in the Theatre) and Mary’s Meals, Letterkenny (Stefany Patton’s gran, Ms Ann Shevlin won that particular battle!)
Friday night’s performance is in aid of Cairde le Chéile (Blue Ribbon’s first charity venture 20 years ago) and Relay for Life (Team Academy), a cause close to our hearts, given the group’s close involvement with the live broadcast of the Gospel hour on Highland Radio every Sunday during the annual event. This year, Relay for Life takes place on the Sunday after the show, 3rd June.
Who’s who in the cast:
Dorothy Gale, played by young Hannah Grimes, Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, accompanied by Toto, namely Caela Carr, Scoil Mhuire, Ramelton embarks on an adventure in the colourful land of Oz after her house lands in Munchkinland following a storm.
Auntie Em (Charis O Donnell, Sessiaghoneill ) and Uncle Henry (Shauna O Donnell, Lurgybrack NS) couldn’t get her into the shelter in time, but with the help of His Majesty King Bert (Paddy McGeever, Scoil Eoin Bhaiste, Carrigart) and his queen, (Caoimhe Coyle, Carrigart) and all the magical munchkins, Dorothy follows the yellow brick road to find the Emerald City.
On the adventure, Dorothy meets Glinda the ‘Derry Girl’ Witch from the North, (Caoimhe Gallagher, Coláiste Ailigh), befriending the hapless singing scarecrow (Ben Carr, Loreto Milford), releasing Tindian, the Tin Man (Jason McLaughlin, Errigal College), empowering the timid lion (Padraig Gallagher, Loreto Milford), avoiding the wicked Witchie Kavanagh, Witch of West Donegal (Eimear Kavanagh, LMS) and her tormented sidekick RiffRaff (Brendan Brogan, AVS), bargaining with the Gatekeeper (Mikeyla McCauley, Mulroy College) and her singing guards (Stefany Patton, Loreto Letterkenny and Svea, all the way from Germany (Errigal College).
See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil (Ciara Cheevers, Scoil Mhuire gan Smal; Maggie Ward and Bláithín Gallagher, both from Gaeilscoil Adhamhnáin) assist everyone to keep on track and help get Dorothy back to Kansas safely.
Dance Captains Sinead MacIntyre (Also captain of St Eunan’s Minors and Victoria Wilson (LYIT) guide the senior chorus of singers and dancers Amy Patterson, Brianne McCauley, Teigan McCauley, Caolagh Grimes, Dualtach McCauley, Kayleigh and Chloe Barnard, Erin McMorrow, Siun Farrelly, Kinnik, Chianti and Harper O Donnell, as well as many more young stars from Blue Ribbon Mulroy and Trinity.
Tickets are available online at An Grianan Theatre or call 0749120777
‘These children have worked so hard, now it’s time to present our show, which will be guaranteed to be as much fun for the people onstage as for the audience’ – Brighdin Carr